Just a few years ago, Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College was getting quite used to disappointment on the volleyball court, often falling short in school competition to local high schools Balywn and volleyball powerhouse Kew High.
Enter Jason Kruse, a young teacher in only his second year on the job, who decided that just wasn’t good enough. Jason started up a new volleyball program, determined to increase participation in the sport and achieve success. ‘ I sought advice from other schools and started training two year 7 teams on a weekly basis,’ he explains, ‘ the aim being to enter them into major tournaments such as the Victorian Volleyball Schools Cup (VVSC) and the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup (AVSC)’
What followed can only be described as a meteoric rise in the sport of volleyball at CGSC, culminating in a gold medal-winning performance by the year 8 team in last years AVSC, the largest school based sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere. From having just two teams in the competition in 2013, the school entered eight teams last year, with more teachers coming on board as coaches. One of those teachers, Sarah Jones, took on the year 8 team ultimately leading them to victory.
‘I am beyond proud of the achievements we have made in the last 2 years, they worked so hard and deserved that win’Sarah Jones
The highly successful program consists of a rigorous – and at times punishing – training schedule, with some teams practicing up to four hours a week, including many 7:30am starts as well as lunchtime and after school training sessions. But there are no complaints from the girls. ” There is always something new to learn,’ year 9 student Imogen says. ‘ Playing Volleyball has taught me to be more confident and to believe in myself … and i always look forward to seeing my friends!”